History of Monaco

The following is a short history of the Principality of Monaco:
From 1793 to 1814, Monaco was under French control. The Congress of Vienna designated Monaco as a protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1815 until 1860 when the Treaty of Turin ceded to France the surrounding county of Nice (as well as Savoy). During this time there was unrest in the towns of Menton and Roquebrune, which declared independence, hoping for annexation by Sardinia. The unrest continued until the ruling prince gave up his claim to the two towns (some 95% of the country) to France in return for four million francs. This transfer and Monaco’s sovereignty was recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861.

Until the 1911 constitution, the princes of Monaco were absolute rulers. In July 1918, a treaty was signed providing for limited French protection over Monaco. The treaty, part of the Treaty of Versailles, established that Monegasque policy would be aligned with French political, military, and economic interests.

Rainier III, Prince of Monaco acceded to the throne following the death of his grandfather, Prince Louis II, in 1949. A new constitution, proclaimed in 1962, abolished capital punishment, provided for women’s suffrage, and established a Supreme Court to guarantee fundamental liberties. In 1993, Monaco became a member of the United Nations, with full voting rights.

In 2002, a new treaty between France and Monaco clarifies that if there are no heirs to carry on the dynasty, the principality will remain an independent nation rather than revert to France. Monaco’s military defense, however, is still the responsibility of France.

By 31 March 2005, Prince Rainier III had become too ill to exercise his royal duties and relinquished them to his son Prince Albert, Marquis of Baux. On 6 April 2005, Prince Rainier died and his son succeeded him as Albert II of Monaco. Prince Albert II of Monaco formally became the ruler of Monaco on 12 July 2005, in a celebration that began with a solemn Mass at the cathedral where his father was buried three months before, after a reign of fifty-six years. His accession to the throne was a two-step event with another ceremony drawing heads of state for an elaborate ceremony held on 19 November 2005. He is the son of the late actress and princess Grace Kelly.

The Monaco Grand Prix is May 27.

Credit Wikipedia for the history.